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Defendant's brother testifies in hate crime trial

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

LONDON, Ky. (WYMT) - A man who was sent to jail for refusing to testify in a federal hate crime trial was on the stand Tuesday morning.

Alex Jenkins, 18, spent Monday night in jail. The federal judge sent him there for civil contempt of court when he refused to testify against his older brother, Anthony Jenkins, who is accused of beating Kevin Pennington because he is gay.

The judge said Alex Jenkins was detained for direct violation of court order. Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove said he was jailed by law to coerce him to testify.

Tuesday morning, Alex Jenkins did testify against his brother and cousin Jason Jenkins who is also charged in the case.

Anthony and Jason Jenkins are accused of kidnapping Pennington on April 4th, 2011 and taking him to Kingdom Come State Park and beating him. Pennington escaped when he says the two men went to get a tire iron from the truck.

Alex Jenkins claims his two relatives admitted they beat Pennington but first said it was because Pennington ripped them off in a drug deal. Alex Jenkins says his relatives later said it was because Pennington is gay.

Alex Jenkins was released from custody after he testified.

Afterwards, prosecutors rested their case and the defense attorneys called witnesses.

Several family and friends of Anthony and Jason Jenkins testified they saw the two men the day of the attack and said the Jenkins did not mention Kevin Pennington.

One bi-sexual man testified Anthony Jenkins was his friend and says Anthony did not treat him differently because of sexual orientation.

The defense attorneys will continue calling witnesses on Wednesday.

The judge said he expects witness testimony to wrap up on Wednesday and then attorneys could give closing arguments on Wednesday as well.

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